The San Diego Padres’ NLCS matchup against the Philadelphia Phillies was the stage for a friendly sibling rivalry. Padres veteran catcher Austin Nola was going to face off against his younger brother, Phillies ace Aaron Nola, in one of the biggest games of the season.
After being put in an early 4-0 hole due to some errors by Juan Soto, the Padres scored seven unanswered runs en route to an 8-5 victory that leveled the series at 1-1 before heading back to Philadelphia. One of those runs came courtesy of Austin.
Nola smacked an RBI single against his brother as San Diego continued to fight back. While Nola has not been a dominant offensive catcher during his time with the Padres, he has certainly picked a very opportune time to play some of the best baseball games of his career.
When asked about facing his sibling, Nola said that his brother “did an excellent job,” even joking that he always goes down 0-2 in the count whenever he faces off against Aaron. Luckily, Austin went up there looking to drive in some runs by any means, and he managed to get the best of his All-Star sibling in this matchup.
Padres C Austin Nola got a base hit against his brother, Aaron Nola
Nola hit .251 with 40 RBI in the regular season, often splitting at-bats with Jorge Alfaro. In the postseason, however, Bob Melvin has gone with Nola exclusively behind the plate. Perhaps he favors the ability to handle a pitching staff and experience over raw power.
Nola has responded by hitting .321 in the postseason, sending the Mets home in tears with some timely run-scoring hits against quality pitchers. While he’ll never be a tremendous home run hitter, Nola has proven to be a more than serviceable starting catcher for a contender.
In the regular season, Austin is 1-5 with two strikeouts and one RBI against Aaron. While the Phillies’ ace might be able to flex his All-Star appearances at the Thanksgiving table, Austin can laugh to the bank knowing that he got a huge hit off his little bro in one of the most important games in Padres history.
Considering how evenly matched these two teams appear to be in this series, the Nola boys will likely face off against one another again before the NLCS comes to a close. The Padres managed to get to Nola slightly in Game 2, but Austin will need to bring his A-game if they want to touch up a pitcher of that quality twice in one series.